Jan. 19, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A strong start by the Cavaliers turned into a strong finish for the Tar Heels on Friday (Jan. 19) night as Virginia (3-6, 0-1) dropped its ACC opener to No. 25 North Carolina (7-8, 1-0 ACC) at Memorial Gym.

Virginia jumped out to an early lead on the power of bonus-point wins from the nationally-ranked duo of redshirt freshman Louie Hayes (Orland Park, Ill.) and sophomore Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas). Hayes is the 15th-ranked wrestler at 125 pounds, while Mueller is the sixth-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds.

North Carolina would chip away at the lead before grabbing the win with victories down the stretch.

“It was really the tale of two dual meets tonight,” said Virginia head coach Steve Garland. “We got off to a great start with Louie (Hayes) and Jack (Mueller) who continue to set the tone at the start of our lineup, and the lighter weights kept us in a position to win the dual. Things shifted at the back end of the dual as North Carolina took the momentum with the heavier weights through a couple of bonus-point wins. We started as well as we could against a nationally-ranked opponent. We fought hard, but have to find a way to finish chances and we will keep working on that.”

Hayes opened the dual meet with a pin of James Szymanski in the opening bout, before Mueller would follow it up with a pin of his own over Zach Sherman. The pair of pins vaulted the Cavaliers out to a 12-point lead on the Tar Heels.

North Carolina would respond, winning three straight matches by decision to cut the overall lead to three points for Virginia. The three bouts were all decided by three points or less.

Redshirt senior Andrew Atkinson (Lynchburg, Va.) got the Cavaliers back in the win column at 165 pounds, posting a 6-1 decision over Clay Lautt. His victory pushed Virginia’s lead back out to six points at 15-9 in the overall score.

North Carolina then used bonus-point wins at 174 pounds and 184 pounds from a pair of nationally-ranked wrestlers to move ahead in the team score for the first time in the match.

A tight match at 197 pounds went the way of the Tar Heels with a decision by No. 17 Daniel Chaid, but the match remained in reach for Virginia with one weight class to go. Despite a pitched battle at heavyweight, North Carolina was able to clinch the match with a 2-0 decision at heavyweight.

Virginia returns to action next weekend, hitting the road for an ACC showdown at No. 6 NC State on Friday (Jan. 26) before stepping out of conference at Old Dominion on Sunday (Jan. 28).

No. 25 North Carolina 24, Virginia 15
125: No. 15 Louie Hayes pinned James Szymanski (UNC), 4:06 – UVA 6, UNC 0
133: No. 6 Jack Mueller pinned Zach Sherman (UNC), 6:53 – UVA 12, UNC 0
141: No. 18 A.C. Headlee (UNC) dec. Sam Martino, 4-2 – UVA 12, UNC 3
149: No. 5 Troy Heilmann (UNC) dec. Sam Krivus, 4-2 – UVA 12, UNC 6
157: No. 17 Kennedy Monday (UNC) dec. Fred Green, 10-7 – UVA 12, UNC 9
165: Andrew Atkinson dec. Clay Lautt (UNC), 6-1 – UVA 15, UNC 9
174: No. 13 Ethan Ramos major dec. Will Schany, 14-5 – UVA 15, UNC 13
184: No. 18 Chip Ness (UNC) tech fall Michael Battista, 18-2 – UNC 18, UVA 15
197: No. 17 Daniel Chaid dec. Jay Aiello, 9-3 – UNC 21, UVA 15
HWT: Cory Daniel (UNC) dec. Tyler Love, 2-0 – UNC 24, UVA 15
*Ranking listed according to InterMat